Blaze Bayley attended IRON MAIDEN's concert this past Friday (June 30) at AO Arena in Manchester, England.
Several fans who attended the show shared pictures of the ex-IRON MAIDEN singer watching the performance from the stands of the arena as well as posing for photos with MAIDEN fans who expressed their excitement at seeing a former member of the band in the audience.
The 60-year-old Bayley fronted IRON MAIDEN from 1994 until 1999. The two MAIDEN albums he appeared on, "The X Factor" and "Virtual XI", sold considerably less than the band's prior releases and were their lowest-charting titles in the group's home country since 1981's "Killers".
Since leaving IRON MAIDEN in 1999, Bayley has released a number of albums, including several under the moniker BLAZE and more than a handful under his own name. He also appeared on 2012's "Wolfsbane Saves The World", the first album of new material by WOLFSBANE since the group's self-titled 1994 effort, and a follow-up LP, 2022's "Genius".
Blaze's latest studio album, "War Within Me", came out in April 2021. The LP was recorded during 2020 with work split between Blaze's studio at home in the West Midlands and Christopher Appleton's studio in Greater Manchester.
This past March, Blaze told Metal Planet Music 's Gary Spiller about some fans' initial reluctance to embrace his era of MAIDEN: "I think that the girlfriend or partner analogy is the best. It's when your girlfriend or boyfriend leaves you for someone, and they are perhaps slimmer with more hair, more interesting and better looking, it doesn't feel good. And you lose your favorite singer from your favorite band, and I think that's awkward as well.
"There's a certain percentage of fans from that era, I'm their first MAIDEN singer, and I always will be, and they'll always have that affection for me," he continued. "But there's another group of fans who go, 'My favorite singer left my favorite band. I don't want to look at the replacement.' … And what is good is that after so many years and the 'Senjutsu' album coming out, people have good back and they've looked at the Blaze Bayley era of [1996's 'best-of' album] 'Best Of The Beast' and 'Sign Of The Cross', 'The X Factor', they've done that, and they've come back with a different look. And then they check out what I'm doing now.
"Since [leaving] MAIDEN, I've made 11 studio albums of my own. It's over 25 years ago [that I joined MAIDEN]; it's nearly 30 years now. It's just five years [that I was with MAIDEN]. With WOLFSBANE, we're back together, and we're together longer than I was in IRON MAIDEN.
"It's nice that it's so well thought of and people are still interested," Blaze added. "I've learned a lot. The experiences that I had have affected me and I've learned. And if you listen to my 'War Within Me' album, my new album, you can tell the IRON MAIDEN influence on that; you can absolutely tell. I'm not ashamed of it. I'm, like, well, this is what I enjoyed and learned in MAIDEN, and you'll hear parts of that and hints of that in the 'War Within Me' album. You'll also hear the development of me as an artist, going beyond that.
"So it's nice that people are still interested in that brief part of the MAIDEN history that contains me. And a lot of people think very nicely of me. But there are still a lot of people that absolutely hate me."
Blaze went on to say that his era of MAIDEN still plays a big part in his live show, particularly as he nears the three-decade mark since he first joined the band.
"What's nice is that when I do my anniversary setlist, which a lot of festivals asked for, then I can play songs in my set from those two albums that MAIDEN have never played and will never play," he explained. "And they are my songs, personal to me. So that's really, really cool. So if you did get into those albums and you like those albums, then you'll come and see me and go, 'Oh, actually, I've never heard'Como Estais Amigos' live.' So it's a really cool thing.
"Last year, we got a lot of really wonderful German festivals, and we played the anniversary setlist. And then afterwards, on my own tour, people came that saw me on that anniversary setlist and the festivals, they came and saw me do my Blaze Bayley concerts and really enjoyed it. And they got into 'War Within Me' album and my trilogy and a lot of things. So it's good, really.
"I'm very lucky to have actually had the top job in my field, to have attained the absolute top," Bayley added. "For me, I wanted to be a heavy metal singer, and by some quirk of faith, a lot of luck and a lot of help, then I managed to become the lead singer of IRON MAIDEN, which, for me, is the top job in the world for a heavy metal singer. And I got that job. So that's fantastic that I was able to get that. And I played huge venues all over the world and stadiums and theaters and everything."
This past March, Blaze underwent a quadruple bypass surgery following a heart attack.
Last month, he released a new video message in which he thanked all the fans for their best wishes, support, concern and orders of his new live album and tour merchandise.
A heart bypass surgery, or coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, is used to improve blood flow to the heart. A surgeon uses blood vessels taken from another area of the body to bypass the damaged arteries.
The term quadruple bypass refers to the number of coronary arteries bypassed in the procedure. In other words, a quadruple bypass means four coronary arteries are bypassed.
Blaze suffered a heart attack at his home on March 25 and was rushed to the hospital. As a result of the health setback, the singer's shows for March and April were postponed.
So, as expected, Iron Maiden were incendiary! There is no doubt about their status as the 🐐! And Official Blaze Bayley was in the row in front of me looking fighting fit! 🤘❤️🤘
Posted by Luke Nash on Friday, June 30, 2023
Yesterday in Manchester, AO Arena and a very special visit 🤘
Pics from Gavin Nelson and Matthew Slim.
Posted by Eddie The Head Fan Club on Saturday, July 1, 2023